Nothing beats sinking your teeth into a good book. I took a chance when I picked up Jay Kirstoff’s Empire of the Vampire back in 2021. The overall size of the book felt somewhat intimidating to begin with, and I had never immersed myself in a Vampire narrative before, but something drew me to this book. When I picked it up, it was sat on a shelf amongst a sea of books… A never ending ocean of stories. To this day, I still can’t figure out why I picked up Empire of the Vampire, but it only took a few pages before I was fully engrossed. Since finishing it, I have picked up two additional versions of the book and they all sit proudly on my shelf like trophies.
Empire of the Vampire is one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. It’s peak fantasy from start to finish. I like to think of it as a beautiful cocktail consisting of elements from Game of Thrones and The Witcher. With a rich and wide mythology, EOTV grabs you instantly. You’re drawn in by the mystery of Daysdeath, the Vampire bloodlines, this so-called Holy Grail, and the bizarre nature of the books’ protagonist… Gabriel de Leon. There are so many fascinating, beautiful, funny and horrifying moments in Empire of the Vampire, there really is no way to prepare yourself.
However, the thing that stands out the most is the style in which Kristoff brings de Leon to life. Set up as one long interview, EOTV is essentially a recap of all the events that lead Gabriel to the cell we find him in, and it turns out… It’s quite a long story, a story that begins when Gabriel is just an infant. There’s a playfulness to the style that results in some shocking revelations, and hysterical bits of banter between de Leon and Jean-Francois- the Vampire conducting the interview. It’s all so delicious and perfectly mapped out, momentum never falters despite having quite a hefty page count.
Empire of the Vampire manages to juggle so much, but it does it brilliantly and I knew that I needed the sequel immediately… Immediately isn’t quite here yet, but the upcoming sequel, Empire of the Damned is set to be released on February 29th, 2024. To celebrate de Leon’s return, Kristoff shared the UK cover of Empire of the Damned and it is glorious.
Gabriel de Leon has saved the Holy Grail from death, but his chance to end the endless night is lost.
After turning his back on his silversaint brothers once and for all, Gabriel and the Grail set out to learn the truth of how Daysdeath might finally be undone.
But the last silversaint faces peril, within and without. Pursued by children of the Forever King, drawn into wars and webs centuries in the weaving, and ravaged by his own rising bloodlust, Gabriel may not survive to see the truth of the Grail revealed.
A truth that may be too awful for any to imagine.
Empire of the Damned is available to preorder right now, so mark your calendars. February 29th will be here sooner than you think. If you haven’t read Empire of the Vampire, I can’t recommend it enough- It was such a treat.
You can check out more book news, here.
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